Facebook Friend Rogue Trader Who Lost UBS $2B

♠ Posted by Emmanuel in , at 9/15/2011 01:11:00 PM
I've had a gallery of rogues in my consciousness these past few days. First you have the impending release of a salacious biography of Sarah Palin which appears to add unnecessarily tawdry flourishes to the life of a self-promoting American who the rest of the world would prefer to "refudiate" for good.

More recently, though, I've been reacquainted with the ever-growing collection of rogue traders causing financial mayhem. The list of young men betting with house money who've subjected their financial institutions to enormous losses keeps growing: Nick Leeson (Barings), Yasuo Hamanaka (Sumitomo), Jerome Kerviel (SocGen), and so on. I think of it as a white collar affliction: Isolated from the manly world of mano-a-mano combat for survival against other young males during the distant past, this species of office slave channels aggression in ways available to them. Risky trading? Natch.

But hey, I guess this is as good an opportunity as any to befriend Kweku Adoboli, alleged rogue trader du jour who allegedly lost UBS a cool $2 billion trading exchange-traded funds (ETFs), on Facebook. Right now our man Kweku's Facebook page has the same Google PageRank as yours truly, but expect his to shoot into the stratosphere real soon. Maybe he should instead have fans--remember Kerviel being made into an alter-globalization hero by some nutters who commended his activities for promoting the downfall of modern finance. The International Business Times even contemplates "Facebook Friend Risk" for the likes of Adoboli--from erstwhile friends being harangued for further information on him by media to personal information unwittingly being disclosed to a curious public.

Meanwhile, whomever they ultimately catch for the current deed at UBS, they should indeed do a character study of males prone to financial shenanigans. (Remember Iceland.) For all the supposed improvements in risk management implemented in the wake of earlier rogue trading scandals, some apparently are still able to slip under the radar. If Joe McGinniss had better things to do other than write another Palin biography--next to the worst-worn subject extant--this would be it.

UPDATE: It looks like Kweku Adoboli's Facebook page has been zapped. It still makes sense to do a character profile of rogue traders, though.